Connect with us

Politics

Easy ways to cope if your candidate loses in election

Published

on

Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga: Their supporters need to know how to manage stress.

Supporters of Raila Odinga (and others shocked by the victory of the president Uhuru Kenyatta) are undergoing a range of emotions, including shock, sadness, anger, confusion, anxiety, and fear. Many supporters of Raila might experience recurrences of these emotions.These feelings are all responses to loss, something that we experience not just when a loved one dies, but also in matters personal, professional, and political. And with loss comes grief. The same feelings are being felt at various levels including those who contested for governor, MP, Senator, MCA and their supporters.

Some of those grieving might be wondering exactly what “stage of grief” they’re at right now, and whether that means they’re closer to feeling better.

SEE: IEBC set to declare Uhuru Kenyatta winner of Kenya elections

As it turns out, thinking of grief as a five-stage process is inaccurate, but the stages included in that concept — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance — are indeed valid components of coping with loss. And understanding this grieving process can help people move on.

Recovering from any loss is not necessarily easy and straightforward, and while some may feel ready to get back to work the next day, others may need more time (something that applies to any sort of grief, not just a political version).

First, it’s important to accept that the mental and physical effects that people feel after political or emotional social moments are certainly real. That’s why researchers think watching World Cup soccer is associated with a significant uptick in heart attacks (for those that argue that people shouldn’t feel “grief” after election, I’d argue that even though the World Cup is far more fun, elections do have greater relevance to our lives).

After accepting that there is a real reason to grieve, psychologists offer a variety of tips for moving on.

Come to terms

Grief counselor R. Benyamin Cirlin told Marisa Kabas of Fusion that a series of three tasks could help: “coming to terms with reality,” understanding and accepting the state of things; coping with feelings, understanding specifically what made you feel angry or upset (maybe you or your friends belong to a group you fear may be discriminated against); and finally, figuring out how this event changed you as you think about what’s important to you as you move forward.

As my colleague Rafi Letzter has written, it’s important to take care of your mental health, especially while first trying to process a loss.

And as psychologist Mary Alvord told USA Today, “disappointment can motivate us to action – ideally in a positive way.”

Building resilience

People who have built up the psychological trait of resilience are quicker to bounce back from challenge or loss. They’re able to cope with stress or tough situations that others succumb to, as psychologist Maria Konnikova has explained in the New Yorker. This process of accepting grief and then figuring out how to move on can help build this resilience.

As Konigsberg wrote in her book, “perhaps just the knowledge that our survival instinct is strong, and that a great many have not only endured terrible losses but have also thrived, can be a source of hope.” And that’s relevant to anyone coping with grief, whether it’s from the loss of a friend or the loss of an election.

 

Business Today is the leading independent online business website in Kenya. Started in 2012 by a veteran business journalist, it has a huge following both in Kenya and abroad. It covers various business and related issues. Email editor at: [email protected]

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Updates

Person of Interest1 day ago

Young sociologist who heads health docket in Turkana

Moses Natome, who has been re-nominated by Governor Josphat Nanok, says he a team player and has in the past...

Health1 day ago

Kenya faces Sh103b annual shortfall for universal health coverage

Health PS Julius Korir says so far the government is only able to afford Ksh 12.4 billion annually to cater...

NEWS1 day ago

Supreme Court explains why it threw out petitions

The court ruled that NASA candidate Raila Odinga did not formally withdraw from the election but only declared his intention to withdraw

Editorial1 day ago

Time Raila stopped being a political enigma

Election seasons must be predictable so that the people and their chosen government can move on with the business of nation...

Analysis1 day ago

Nairobi-based US diplomat quits, blasts Trump

In a scathing resignation letter, Elizabeth Shackelford tore into the Trump administration and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for undermining the work...

LIFESTYLE3 days ago

Half of Govt workers are drug addicts

NACADA survey shows alcohol abuse among employees in the public sector stands at 57.9 percent, higher than the national average...

Economy3 days ago

Kenya’s economy to ‘bounce back’

Kenya’s economy is set to grow from the current 4.9% to 5.5% and 5.9% in 2018 and 2019 respectively, a...

Opinion4 days ago

Libya slavery scam: Africa has killed its own sun

African states have created the environment in their home countries that have made their citizenry so desperate and hopeless to...

Person of Interest4 days ago

Unique name that inspired KCPE star

As a biology teacher, Harrison Tanga was not fazed when he went to hospital to see his newborn child, unlike...

LIFESTYLE4 days ago

Youth turn to sex to soothe election pain

The struggle to make ends meet has left them disillusioned, apathetic and angry, according to the annual survey of nearly...

Advertisement

Trending